ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Sustainable World Is Within Our Grasp

Updated on August 13, 2019
rickzimmerman profile image

Rick is a Cleveland-area architect who writes extensively about local architecture, landmarks, attractions, and sustainable development.

Sustainable Design Guru

Sustainable Design Guru (known as 'an architect')
Sustainable Design Guru (known as 'an architect') | Source

How Do We Achieve Sustainability?

Can a truly sustainable world be achieved? Yes, it most assuredly can. But it will take the hard work of all of us. Each of us has a daily, incremental duty to help create the truly sustainable world of tomorrow.

Hello, this is your sustainability guru — an architect, planner, and writer on sustainability, energy conservation and use, environmental concerns, and green design topics and tips. Let me guide you through the various steps we can all take to achieve a truly sustainable world.

Next Steps

As with any knotty problem, we must begin to break the riddle of true planetary sustainability down into a number (perhaps a very great number) of discrete difficulties.

Which of Earth's resources are we consuming? at what rate? with what efficiency or efficacy? Which of those resources can be replaced by something better, or more plentiful, or cheaper, or less onerous? What technologies can we bring to bear to improve resource use?

It is only after we understand exactly which, how many, and how much of the Earth’s resources we are regularly consuming on a daily basis that we may become motivated to alter our course. We must realize which resources are rapidly renewable (like a bamboo crop or sunshine or the prevailing breezes) and which are not (like a coal seam or oil deposit or natural gas well). We must also consider the complete life-cycle costs of the things we consume. Is natural gas really inexpensive, if our fracking operations also pollute a local clean water resource, which must then be expensively treated or replaced? Is tearing off a mountaintop to reach a coal seam cost-effective, in light of the damage of slurry, downstream pollution, or the loss of scenic wonder?

Fortunately, over the past several decades, there has been explosive growth in the science and literature of climate change, resource cost, and sustainability initiatives. We can all continue to make ourselves and those around us more responsible Earth-friendly global citizens. (After all, is there actually anybody out there who is Earth-unfriendly?)

In additional articles on sustainability, I will attempt to guide you through a world of Earth-friendly possibilities.

Begin at The Beginning

First, we must educate ourselves and others of what true sustainability of our world consists. In simple terms, true sustainability means learning to leave our planet pretty much as we found it — with no fewer resources, no dirtier air, no fewer species, no fouler water. Sounds rather simple, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it is anything but simple. How can we leave the world with no fewer resources than we found it, and yet still consume coal, oil, timber, agricultural products, livestock, and clean water as voraciously as we do? And how can we accommodate ever-increasing population, with ever-increasing standards of living?

It is only after we understand exactly which, how many, and how much of the Earth’s resources we are regularly consuming on a daily basis that we may become motivated to alter our course. We must realize which resources are rapidly renewable (like a bamboo crop or sunshine or the prevailing breezes) and which are not (like a coal seam or oil deposit or natural gas well). We must also consider the complete life-cycle costs of the things we consume. Is natural gas really inexpensive, if our fracking operations also pollute a local clean water resource, which must then be expensively treated or replaced? Is tearing off a mountaintop to reach a coal seam cost-effective, in light of the damage of slurry, downstream pollution, or the loss of scenic wonder? Fortunately, over the past several decades, there has been explosive growth in the science and literature of climate change, resource cost, and sustainability initiatives. We can all continue to make ourselves and those around us more responsible Earth-friendly global citizens. (Is there anybody out there who is Earth-unfriendly?)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      23 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I agree with you that we should be making more progress in taking advantage of the wind, sunshine and things like bamboo that rapidly grow and is good for use in furniture, floors, etc. New jobs can be created if we shift our focus away from fossil fuels into more renewable resources. It will not be done overnight, but any steps taken in that direction will help. It does not have to be an either-or scenario. If we could land men on the moon and get them back safely, we can do this if we put our minds to it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)